Rental Reviews 30/07/09

Well, the first week of Rental Reviews is over. This week you’ve been taking a look at Volition’s destructive third person explode-a-thon Red Faction: Guerrilla which we extensively reviewed here. First up, let’s hear what TSA’s staff rental review (carried out by Davs) had to say about the game:

“Unless you can take out the structural points of a building with strategically placed mines and watch it crumble to the ground, you do not have a destructible environment. Red Faction: Guerrilla is both a fantastic and a depressing game. The complete interaction with the environment is currently unparalleled; the weapons are immensely powerful and satisfying whilst placing you into an engrossing and believable world. Unfortunately though, this makes so many other games seem poor in comparison. Why can I not smash through any building in any game and watch it crumbled in my wake? Red Faction has set the bar very high for any game claiming to have a destructible environment.

Whilst visiting Mars to reunite with his brother our protagonist, Alec Mason, armed with his trusty sledgehammer, gets caught in the middle of the Red Faction’s mission to free Mars from the suppressive EDF. With a world and an atmosphere that is so compelling and engaging it is very hard to find any major faults with the game. Repetition of missions is probably the only one that springs to mind; however the great gun mechanics, response driving physics, brilliant destructibility and fantastic variation all help make Volition’s three-person shooter a stellar title, that also boasts a solid multiplayer as well.

Red Faction: Guerrilla could quite possibly be my game of the year so far. If that isn’t high enough praise, I don’t know what is – apart from being the best of the year of course.

9/10

TSA member Zuler agreed with him:

“Let’s not beat around the bush: if you’re the type of person who loves the mindless chaotic fun and longevity of games like GTA4, then this is for you. This game has a long single-player mode, an online component with multiple modes, and even a local pass-and-play mode. The single player is rather long, with quite a bit of different mission types, but in the end, they all amount to the same thing, destruction. Everything in the world can be destroyed to the last brick, and you’re even rewarded salvage to upgrade and buy new weapons. There is a story, but isn’t very gripping, and it clearly wasn’t meant to be. While not doing missions, there are high-priority buildings marked on your map, which you can destroy to increase the morale of the people in the sector, and reduce the EDF’s control over that sector. When that reaches zero and all the main missions are completed, the sector will be liberated, and you move on to the next one. The graphics of this game are great, and not once did the frame-rate drop during my playthrough. There are 6 online modes, which are essentially deathmatch, team deathmatch, capture the flag, capture and hold, search and destroy, and protect the target while he causes havoc. These can be pretty fun, especially with friends. So, if you’re looking for a game in these summer months to last you a while before the winter onslaught, then you can’t go wrong with this.

9/10

There were one or two reviews that weren’t so full of praise though, TSA member gnipper had this to say:

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“First of all, let me set the rumours to rest, Red Faction Guerrilla isn’t about a gang of chimps fighting in embattled cage fights against the Blue Faction Guerrillas.. No, this is the latest in a series of games which attempts to push the envelope by using its Geo-mod engine to enable terrain destruction, except this time you cant actually destruct the terrain, just the man made stuff.

The game itself looks pretty, from the red dustiness of Mars to the intricate texturing details on the vehicles, its got that AAA feel to it, however its hard to be precise at this point, but it FEELS like there is something missing here. Destroying stuff is what the game is all about and the destruction physics are spot on and 90% of the fun of the game is driving around finding new structures to knock down with your trusty hammer.  10% of the game tries to be a shooter and this is where it fails, so much time and effort has been put into getting the destruction JUST right, that the game feels more like a tech demo, the shooter bits added in because it’s expected.  Its very unforgiving and the weapons are uninspiring.  But after all that it’s still a fun game in the way Mercenaries was a fun game – if you like the idea of going on a destructive rampage then you will do NO better than this.  The game would’ve been better named “Red Faction: Structural Engineer

6/10

Whilst some opinions, like that of TSA member hannes_truce, fell somewhere between the two:

“I liked this game so much it went missing on its way back to the people I rented it from. Then I realised I had in fact failed to post it back and am now the proud owner of the game through dishonest means.

The reason this happened was that this game has given me what I have wanted for years: the ability to completely level huge buildings just for the hell of it. This adds an incredible dynamic to the game and is a huge step forward in the freedom experienced by the player. Yes there are repetitive side missions, like with most sandbox games, but it doesn’t matter because you can approach them in such a variety of ways that they don’t seem repetitive, snipe from a distance or jump in a truck and drive through the wall off the target structure: the choice is yours.

The story behind the game is a simple one, you’re thrown into the role of a rebel out for revenge and destruction is your tool, but it doesn’t need to be deeper than that, the game is all about the freedom and destruction.

Even after I completed the game I still come back now and again to wreak havoc and the addition of the pass the pad local multiplayer is perfect to pick up and play with a few mates. Little do they know that they’re helping me towards that pesky trophy?

Freedom, destruction, explosions and off road vehicles. Sheer brilliance.

8/10

The average TSA member score from submitted reviews was 7.8/10

Our Rental Review score was 9/10

Our full review score was 8/10

This week’s game for Rental Review is Burnout: Paradise. It’s ageing a bit now but it’s definitely worth a look if you haven’t played it and if you have then you can send us a review in under 250 words too!

Reviews to the usual address: peter[at]thesixthaxis[dot]com with RR in the subject line by midday on Thursday 6th August please. 25 TSA points for each review and a further 50 (total of 75) if your review is published in the round up post.

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